We stayed in Waynesboro, VA on the 8th That's where the Shenandoah National Park begins, and it was also where the festivities began.
On the 9th we got a ride 20 miles up north and slackpacked (hiked with virtually nothing) south back into Waynesboro.
On the 10th we got a ride back up 20 miles, this time to hike north from the same spot. But this wasn't an ordinary day - Catalyst kept the festivities going by arranging with the shuttle guy to leave us trail magic that she got us - a cooler full of sodas, juice, and other choice beverages.
On the 11th, Eric (who had been hiking with us for a week) had his last night with us. His dad, Keith, came to pick him up - but not before giving us a ride to a nearby food stand where we got birthday milkshakes. This is about the time that Team Impurist was born, and more will come on that in another post.
But that's not all...a couple of days later, we decided to have a real birthday party - on the beach. We rented a car in Luray, which is a town located near the northern Shenandoah. We drove back into the Shenandoah National Park in the car to pick up thru-hikers that we saw, telling them that we were whisking them away to the beach and would bring them back the next day. This plan worked out surprisingly well. About 10 of us piled into a minivan + car and went to the beach at Lake Anna for the night. Feast, beach, debauchery, and friends...hmmm, this AT hiking thing (instead of going to the beach all the time) is hard now. :D
PS. We just made it to Harper's Ferry! That's more than 1000 miles aaaah!